Victim of sex assault says discovery of Caroline Everest’s body brought back memories of attack

Caroline Everest
Caroline Everest

A victim of an attempted rape in Sheffield has said the discovery of Caroline Everest’s body close to where she was assaulted brought back memories of her attack.

The sexual assault on the 21-year-old woman in the early hours of November 1 this year happened in bushes close to the Nuffield Gym between Napier Street and Cemetery Road.

An area of river believed to be close to where the body of Caroline Everest was found. Pic: Tom Maddick/Ross Parry

An area of river believed to be close to where the body of Caroline Everest was found. Pic: Tom Maddick/Ross Parry

The body of 18-year-old Caroline Everest was discovered in the Porter Brook river on the morning of November 24 – just yards away from the scene of the earlier incident.

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Giving evidence at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday as her attacker Johnathon Holmes was jailed for four-and-a-half years, the young woman, who cannot be named, said news of what happened to Caroline brought back memories of the attack she suffered.

She said: “A few days ago I read about the body of a missing girl being found not far from where I was attacked.

Bushes adjacent to Nuffield Gym on Cemetery Road where a sex attack took place on November 1st 2015

Bushes adjacent to Nuffield Gym on Cemetery Road where a sex attack took place on November 1st 2015

“It made me sick to my stomach and brought everything back.

“I just want this all over so I can go on with my life.”

A 31-year-old man was arrested last week on suspicion of rape in connection with the investigation into Caroline Everest’s death.

The death of the Sheffield Hallam University student is currently being treated as unexplained after an initial post-mortem examination proved to be inconclusive.

The 21-year-old victim of the sexual assault said she was still coming to terms with the impact of being attacked.

She said: “As soon as I got home and locked the door, I completely broke down. What happened to me was my worst nightmare.

“The whole thing replayed in my head for days.

“Now, going anywhere after dark is really stressful for me.

“I often think about how much worse it could have been. Even though I know he is locked up, sometimes I’m scared he will come after me again.”

Sentencing 35-year-old Holmes, Judge Sarah Wright praised the courage of the woman for fighting back against him, as well as the help provided to her by passers-by.

She said: “No one listening could fail to have been moved by her words.

“It is clear to me from hearing her words that what you did had a devastating effect upon her.

“She is not able to continue her life as before.

“The effects of your actions will live with her throughout her life.”